It can be hard to know where hiking is done, and it is even harder to find information about the best hikes due to the sport's vastness and diversity.
There's nothing better than getting out into nature and enjoying a good hike, but it can be tough to decide on a destination. You might not know where the best hiking spots are, or you might not have time to do research on your own.
Hiking is done in many places. While some people hike in the mountains, others prefer to hike in the woods, beach, and even their own backyards. There are even people who hike all over the world. The great thing about hiking is that it can be done almost anywhere there is a trail.
There are many places in the world to hike. Some people might think that hiking is only done in the mountains, but that is not true. There are many different types of hikes, and each one can be enjoyed in a different location. In this article, we will discuss some of the most popular hiking destinations around the world. We will also provide some tips on how to choose the right hike for you.
Our hiking experts have put together a list of the best hiking trails in the world. These hikes are all different and offer something for everyone. Whether you want to hike through a jungle, up a mountain, or across a desert, there is sure to be a trail on this list that is perfect for you.
Inca Trail, Peru
The Inca Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the world. It is located in Peru and leads to the ancient city of Machu Picchu. The trail is 26 miles long and takes about four days to complete. There are many different sections of the trail, so you can choose how difficult or easy you want your hike to be.
The trail begins at the Sacred Valley, where the Inca Empire once flourished. From there, it winds its way through the Andes Mountains, passing by several Inca ruins along the way. The trail culminates at the Sun Gate, which offers stunning views of Machu Picchu. The entire journey can take four days or more to complete, and hikers must be prepared for altitude sickness and challenging terrain. However, those who make the trek are rewarded with some of the most incredible views in all of South America.
If you are thinking of hiking the Inca Trail, there are a few things you should know. First, you need to book your hike well in advance. The Peruvian government only allows 500 people to start the hike each day, and spots fill up quickly. Second, you will need to be prepared for the altitude. The Inca Trail reaches a maximum elevation of 4,200 meters (13,776 feet), so it is important to acclimatize before starting the hike. Finally, remember that this is a challenging hike. It is not recommended for beginners or young children.
If you are up for the challenge, the Inca Trail is an incredible experience that you will never forget.
Pennine Way, United Kingdom
Pennine Way is one of the most popular long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom. It runs for approximately 270 miles from Edale, in the Peak District National Park, to Kirk Yetholm, in the Scottish Borders. The route passes through some of England and Scotland's most scenic and wild parts, including the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Parks. The Pennine Way is a challenging walk, with many steep ascents and descents, but the views from the high points are well worth the effort. The route is usually completed in two to three weeks, although experienced walkers can complete it in as little as ten days.
There are 535 access points where the Pennine Way intersects with other public rights of way. This allows walkers to start or finish the walk at a convenient point, rather than having to complete the whole route in one go. The most popular starting points are Edale in the Peak District, and Horton-in-Ribblesdale, in the Yorkshire Dales.
The Pennine Way was first proposed by Tom Stephenson in 1932 and was officially opened by Alfred Wainwright in 1965. It is now one of the UK's National Trails and is maintained by a team of volunteer trail wardens. The Pennine Way is a popular challenge for walkers of all levels of experience, and there are many support services available for those who want to attempt the walk. These include accommodation booking services, baggage transfer companies, and walking guidebooks.
There are a number of places to stay along the route, including campsites, B&Bs, and hostels. Walkers should be prepared for all weather conditions, as the Pennine Way can be very wet and boggy in places. But with proper planning and preparation, the Pennine Way is an achievable challenge for anyone who wants to experience some of the best scenery in the UK.
Appalachian Trail, United States
The Appalachian Trail is arguably the most popular long-distance hiking trail in the world. It runs for over two thousand miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin, Maine. Along the way, it passes through 14 states and various landscapes, from dense forests to open meadows. A team of volunteers maintains the trail, and there are many shelters and campsites along the way for hikers to use.
Hikers can start at either end of the trail or hike from one end to the other. Most thru-hikers (those who hike the entire length of the trail in one trip) start at Springer Mountain in early spring and hike north to Mount Katahdin. This typically takes 5-7 months to complete.
The Appalachian Trail was first proposed in 1921, and construction began in 1925. The trail was completed in 1937 and has been used by hikers ever since. It is now one of the most popular long-distance trails in the United States, with an estimated three million people hiking at least part of the trail each year.
The Appalachian Trail is a challenging hike, with an elevation gain of over four hundred thousand feet. Hikers should be prepared for all weather conditions and have a good fitness level before attempting the trail. There are many resources available to help hikers plan their trip, including guidebooks, maps, and online forums.
It's possible to go hiking alone thanks to the well-signposted routes and campsites. This means that you're never too far from help if you need it, and you can always find your way back to the trail. Hiking solo can be a great way to get away from it all and enjoy some peace in nature. Just make sure that you're well-prepared for the challenges that come with hiking solo, and always let someone know where you're going and when you expect to be back.
While the Appalachian Trail is certainly a challenge, it is also an incredibly rewarding experience. Those who complete the hike often find themselves changed by the beauty and solitude of the trail. For many, the Appalachian Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Continuing on from where we left off, the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal is one of the most popular treks in the world. It offers stunning views of some of the world's tallest mountains, including Mount Annapurna and Mount Dhaulagiri. The circuit can be completed in around two weeks, although many trekkers choose to take longer so that they can enjoy the scenery and the experience more fully.
The first few days of the trek are relatively easy as you make your way through rice paddies and small villages. However, the terrain becomes more challenging as you get higher into the Himalayas. You will need to cross several high passes, including the Thorung pass, which reaches an altitude of over 17,000 feet.
It's best to start at Pisang and climb the high route via Gyaru and Ngawal to Manang before descending to Muktinath via Thorung La. This is the most popular route as it avoids the busiest section of the trail, and you get to see some of the best scenery on the circuit.
As with any trek in Nepal, you will need a permit to hike the Annapurna Circuit. You can obtain this from your local Nepalese embassy or consulate or from one of the many trekking companies that operate in Nepal. It's also important to be aware of the current weather conditions before starting your trek, as heavy snowfall can make some sections of the trail impassable.
The Annapurna Circuit was first opened to tourists in 1977 and has since become one of Nepal's most popular trekking routes. It is well-marked and relatively easy to follow, although it can be challenging in places. There are a number of different accommodation options available along the way, from basic camping to luxury lodges.
Whether you're looking for stunning mountain views or a challenge, the Annapurna Circuit is an excellent option. Just make sure that you're prepared for the altitude and the cold temperatures, and you'll have an amazing experience.
Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon NP, USA
The Bright Angel Trail is one of the most popular trails in Grand Canyon National Park, and it's easy to see why. The trail offers stunning views of the canyon, and it's a great option for those who want to hike to the bottom of the canyon and back in one day.
The Bright Angel Trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, and there are plenty of rest areas along the way. However, it is important to be aware of the dangers that come with hiking in such a remote area. Make sure you're properly prepared before starting your hike, and always let someone know where you're going.
The trail is extremely strenuous, and hikers should be prepared for a challenging hike. The ascent back to the rim can be particularly difficult, so it is important to start early in the day and pack plenty of water. Hikers should also be aware of potential hazards, such as flash floods and rockfalls.
Hiking in the Grand Canyon can be hot, so make sure you bring plenty of water and sunscreen. The trail is also very steep in places, so it's important to take your time and rest often.
If you're looking for an amazing hiking experience, the Bright Angel Trail is definitely worth considering. Just make sure that you're prepared for the challenges that come with hiking in such a remote area.
Tahoe Trail, United States
The Tahoe Trail is considered by many to be the best hike in the United States. The trail circles Lake Tahoe and offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the trail offers stunning views of Tahoe Lake and the surrounding area. The trail is approximately 165 miles long and can be completed in about two weeks. However, many hikers choose to take their time and enjoy the scenery along the way. There are several different sections of the trail, each with its own unique features.
The Tahoe Rim Trail can be hiked in either direction, but most hikers choose to start at Tahoe Meadows and hike clockwise around the lake. This allows you to take advantage of the downhill sections and also means that you'll have the sun at your back for most of the hike.
The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, but it can be challenging in places. There are a number of different accommodation options available along the way, from camping to luxury lodges.
The first section of the trail starts at Mt. Rose Summit winds its way around the lake before heading up into the mountains. This section of the trail is relatively easy, making it a great choice for beginners. The second section of the trail is more challenging, with longer ascents and descents. This section of the trail is a good choice for experienced hikers who are looking for a more challenging hike. The third section of the trail is the most difficult, with steep climbs and descents. This section of the trail is only recommended for experienced hikers.
The best time to hike the Tahoe Rim Trail is from June to September. This is when the weather is the most stable and the trail is free of snow. However, hikers should be prepared for any weather conditions.
The Tahoe Rim Trail is excellent for hikers of all experience levels. Whether you're looking for an easy hike or a challenging adventure, the Tahoe Rim Trail has something to offer everyone.
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, USA
One of the most popular hiking trails in Yosemite National Park is Half Dome. The trail is approximately 14 miles long and gains around 4000 feet in elevation. The hike can be completed in one day, but many hikers choose to camp overnight at one of the campsites along the trail. The hike to Half Dome is considered to be strenuous, and it is recommended for experienced hikers only.
The trail starts at the Happy Isles Trailhead and winds its way through Yosemite Valley before ascending up to Half Dome. Along the way, hikers will enjoy stunning views of Glacier Point, Yosemite Falls, and Liberty Cap. The last mile or so of the hike is the most challenging, with a steep ascent up the side of Half Dome. This section of the trail is not recommended for beginners.
The trail to Half Dome begins at the junction of the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. From here, it climbs steadily for about 4 miles until it reaches the base of the cliff face. Climbers must use ropes and other technical gear to ascend the remaining 2,000 feet (610 m) to the summit.
The best time to hike Half Dome is from May to October. This is when the weather is the most stable, and there is less chance of snow on the trail. However, hikers should be prepared for any weather conditions, as storms can occur at any time of year.
It takes most hikers about 10-12 hours to hike to the summit of Half Dome and back. The best time to hike is in the summer when the weather is warm and the days are long. However, it is important to be aware of the dangers of thunderstorms, which can occur in the afternoon.
Hikers should also be prepared for cold temperatures and strong winds at the summit, even in summer. Several different routes can be taken to reach the top of Half Dome. The most popular route is the trail from Yosemite Valley, but you can also choose to hike from Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point.
A permit is required for all hikers wishing to summit Half Dome. Permits can be obtained through a lottery system and are typically released in late March or early April. Only 300 permits are issued per day, and the majority of these are for weekend hiking.
The views from the top of Half Dome are stunning and include Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, and the Sierra Nevada range. Climbing Half Dome is a challenging but rewarding experience and one that should not be missed by anyone visiting Yosemite National Park.
Angels Landing, Zion NP, USA
Angels Landing is one of the most popular trails in Zion National Park. The trailhead is located at Scout Lookout, and the hike is approximately 5 miles round trip. Angels Landing is a strenuous hike with several very steep sections, but the views from the top are absolutely incredible!
The first part of the trail follows along the West Rim Trail, and then the trail turns off to head up to Angels Landing. The last half-mile or so of the trail is very steep and narrow, with drop-offs on both sides. There are chains bolted into the rock to help hikers as they make their way up this final section.
Once you reach the top of Angels Landing, you will be rewarded with some of the most incredible views in all of Zion National Park! To the east, you can see The Narrows, and to the west, you will have a bird's eye view of the Virgin River winding its way through the canyon.
The best time to do the hiking is during the cooler months of the year, such as April, May, September, and October. Hiking in the summer can be very hot and strenuous, so it is best to avoid this time of year if possible.
Do not attempt this hike if you are scared of heights! The final section of the trail is not for the faint of heart. But if you are up for a challenge, Angels Landing is an absolutely amazing hike that you will never forget!
How To Choose The Right Hike For You
When it comes to hiking, there are a lot of different options out there. And with so many different trails to choose from, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a hike:
Deciding how far to hike can be a tricky proposition. On the one hand, you want to push yourself and explore as much of the trail as possible. On the other hand, you don't want to bite off more than you can chew and end up feeling exhausted and angry at yourself. The best way to figure out how far to hike is to first consider your fitness level and how much time you have. If you're reasonably fit and have all day, then tackling a longer trail might be feasible. However, if you're not in great shape or are short on time, then sticking to a shorter trail might be a better option. Ultimately, it's important to listen to your body and hiking partners and to be realistic about your abilities.
Another important consideration when choosing a hike is the difficulty of the trail. Some trails are relatively easy, with gentle inclines and well-maintained paths. Others are much more challenging, with steep climbs and rugged terrain. When deciding how difficult of a hike to attempt, it's again important to consider your fitness level and hiking experience. If you're a seasoned hiker who's in great shape, then a more difficult trail might be right for you. However, if you're new to hiking or not in the best shape, then an easier trail might be a better option. It's also worth noting that even experienced hikers can have trouble on difficult trails if they're not prepared mentally and physically. So, if you're considering a particularly challenging hike, make sure you're up for the task.
One of the best things about hiking is appreciating the natural beauty of your surroundings. When choosing a hike, it's important to consider what kind of scenery you want to see. If you're looking for sweeping views of mountains and valleys, then opting for a trail with high elevations might be your best bet. However, sticking to lower elevations might be a better option if you prefer more intimate settings, such as forests or streams. Ultimately, the type of scenery you want to see will help narrow down your choices and make it easier to find the perfect hike for you.
About THE AUTHOR
I’m a hiker, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking out of college while working for the National Forest Service, and have been hiking ever since. I’ve been solo hiking and leading hiking groups for two decades and have completed hundreds of small hikes and some majorones such as the Appalachian Train and the Pacific Crest Trail, and hiked on four continents. I’d love to share some of my insight with you.Read More About Peter Brooks